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Quick Start Guide to Microsoft Teams

titleQuick Connect Information

A Quick Start Guide to Microsoft Teams

Once you have clicked this link you will be taken to a splash page in your browser where you can choose to either continue using your browser or by downloading the desktop application.

  • Next you will be prompted to sign into your Microsoft account. Do this using your NETID and password.
  • The link that you clicked will add a team called "GROUP - ASO - Staff" (all other teams you are on will also be accessible from here)
  • Click on the ASO Staff team to begin.

Accessing and Sharing Files

  • To begin working with files, first find and click on "Files" at the top of the browser window or application in the menubar

  • From here you can use the submenu to create new folders or files by clicking new or you can upload and download files by clicking upload or download. Keep in mind dragging files in is also an option. It is important to remember that this file section is for the entire ASO team and can be accessed by anyone whereas chat files are only between the people in the chat.

Posts Vs Chat

  • Are you looking to reach out to everyone on the whole team and send a message that everyone can see? You can do this by clicking "Teams" from the menubar on the left side of the app or browser and then clicking "Posts" from the menubar at the top. Image RemovedHere you can send out mass messages to all team members.

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  • Are you looking to send out a message to everyone but alert specific people? Simple include "@personsname" to ping them and have the message show up in their activity centre (this message will still show up to all team members).
  • If you are looking for more personal conversation with one or more others begin by clicking on the chat other people begin by clicking on the chat icon on the left menubar and then the little "start chat" icon at the top of the page Image Added. Keep in mind, you can add multiple people here, and when sharing files, only the people in the chat will be able to access them.


Once you have begun a chat with a person or a group of people everything that happens within the chat, stays within the chat. For instance, any saved files from that chat will be accessible from the files section. Also keep in mind you can always add more people to the chat by clicking the Plus button in the menubar. Here you can begin video/audio conferences with your group by clicking the phone icon as well as sharing your screen by clicking the icon beside the phone icon.

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If you have been away for a few days and need to catch up on the chat, simply click "Activity" in the menubar to see the timestamps on the conversation.

Searching for a Team Member

To find and interact with a person or a file, one of the quickest ways to do this is by using the Search Bar.

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Simply begin by typing in the person's name who you are looking. By clicking on that person's name you can begin a private chat. If you are looking for a specific file or conversation try typing the name of the file or some words that you remember and the search feature will find that file. Keep in the the scope of the search will pull from all people and files you have access to.

What is Teams:

Logging in:

Start by visiting and logging in using your NETID. Once you have logged in to the portal, the top banner section you will see several apps (keep in mind these apps dynamically change based on your usage). If you do not see Teams in the list of icons, click on the “all apps” icon and search for teams 

  • Click here to watch a brief video on how to log in to Team:

  • Joining / Creating a team:

    • To join or create a team, once logged into Teams in your browser, click on the “join a team” button in the top right of the browser window. This will take you to a new window where you have three different options.

      • Option 1: You can create your own team (more on this later)

      • Option 2: Join a team with a code (this would have been shared with you from someone who has already created the team)

      • Option 3: Join a team that someone has invited you to that may be pending acceptance



Team notifications:

Notifications, AKA “Activity Feed” is a place to view all recent activity pertaining to you and your projects in Microsoft Teams. This tool functions much like Basecamp’s “Hey!” section where you can view any alerts pertaining to “@mentions” or flagged projects. Unlike Basecamp, Teams has many different ways to view your activity, including a filter.

  • View your Activity: After signing in, on the top left-hand side of your browser, look for and click on the activity icon .  Once you have moved into the Activity page, you will notice the word ”feed”, in the upper left side of the screen.

Below the word feed, you will see all activity that pertains to you and your projects/teams. From here, you can click on any of the items to view them. As you click through the items, teams will take you to that item and all the related activity for that item in the main viewing window. If you prefer to view only activity to you, simply click on the down facing arrow beside “feed” and change the drop down to “My Activity”. This will only show items that are specific to you.

  • Change your activity filter: You can change your activity filter by clicking on the filter just to the right of the “Feed/My Activity” section. This filter will allow you do a search, or if you click the ellipsis, you can filter based on some common categories such as:

To drill down deeper and narrow your search, try pairing a search term with one of the of the options above.

Useful functionality in Chat

The chat feature works a lot like other chat clients such as Skype or Slack. To access the chat feature in Teams, simply navigate there from the menu sidebar (where you found Activity) and simply click on chat. Once you have selected chat, you can view recent chats by clicking on recent, or all contacts by clicking on contacts.


In the contacts section, you can create new contact groups by clicking on “new contact group” at the bottom of the screen. This is helpful if you are looking to put together groups of people who may be working on the same project, or if you are looking to better organize your contacts (for instance: all of the LMS’s, MM team, Managers, ID’s ect).


There are several powerful features that can be used in the chat feature of Teams. For instance, once a chat has been started with a colleague, you may notice a tool bar along the bottom of the window. Here you can add functionality and depth to your conversation by adding:

  • Formatting: Include highlighting, graphs, code snippets, tables, and links (along with more basic text editing formatting tools)

  • Urgency: Add an urgent notification along with your message. This will mark your message as important, or if tagged as urgent the recipient will be notified every two minutes for twenty minutes (be very careful with this one!).

  • Attach a file: This is a great feature as attaching an editable file such as a word document can be added to the chat, opened in real time and edited by all parties in the chat instead of making edits and sending them back and forth. The functionality becomes more powerful when all parties continue the chat while editing the file.

  • Adding a personal touch: Add stickers and Gif’s (from Giphy) to show your flare

  • Create meetings and meeting places (channels or chats) to set a date and time to meet with a select person or people.


Some of the other great features about chat is that you can invite more people into your chat as your ideas grow. Do this by clicking on the add member button in the top right of the chat window: 


Much like Skype, you can also initiate voice and video chat by clicking on the respective buttons: 


File / Activity Tracking: Another powerful tool you can utilize in the chat feature is the “File / Activity” section at the top of the page. When you click on Activity you can see the activity of the people. This way you can see if that person has uploaded any files, added to the chat or made an edit on a file. By clicking on “Files” you have a full overview of all of the files that have been shared within the chat including editable documents.


Sharing files and creating documents

Interested in sharing and co-authoring files? Simply drag a file into a chat or into your team group. Any editable Microsoft file can be opened in Teams be any member and can be edited or commented on. To do this, simply drag a file from your computer into the chat or group window in the browser or the Teams app. The file will be accessible from the chat window by clicking on it. It can also be downloaded from here as well. All files will be stored and accessible from the “Files” tab. Note, there is no folder structure to files, so it is recommended to use this feature as a short-term solution to working with files.

Click here to watch a video:

Booking and running meetings in Teams

Joining a Meeting: To Join a meeting begin by opening Microsoft Teams in your browser or the Teams App. Once Teams is open, navigate to the “Calendar” icon on the left side of the screen. Here you will have an overview of your week (or day). If you have been invited to a meeting and it is taking place soon, simply click on the block in the calendar to reveal more information about the appointment. From here you can click the “join button” see a list of participants, open a chat by clicking “Chat with Participants”, or cancel the meeting by clicking “Cancel Meeting”. This will send a notification out to let the other participants know that the meeting has been canceled.

Click Here to view a short video:


Booking a Meeting:

Begin by navigating to your calendar. Click the “New Meeting” button on the top right side of the screen .  Next, title your meeting and add a location if necessary. Note, you can also select a specific channel that you want the meeting to take place in, for instance a group that your meeting is for. Invite participants by clicking in the Invite People” field and begin typing names.  Once you have curated your list of participants, you can reach out to individuals by clicking on their name and staring a private chat or meeting if need. Change you date and time as needed and click schedule. Once you click schedule, the meeting will be sent out. Don’t worry, you can always update the times if needed, and participants will be notified in the ”Activity” section of Teams. 

Click here to view a short video:

Participating in a meeting:

Once you have joined the meeting you have a few options as a presenter or as a participant. Simply hover over the screen to bring up a menu where you can: turn on or off your camera, mute your microphone, share your screen show more options (settings, meeting notes, full screen etc). There is also an option to show meeting notes as well as chat and participants.  When the meeting is over, you have the option to view the meeting notes, files, whiteboard or recording from your recent chats. This meeting will stay open and accessible for as long as you like, allowing you to use this space to meet again. The great part about this is that you can easily pick up where you left off, or new participants who join can easily catch up on the history of the previous meeting.

Click here to view a short video:


Teams mobile app


Microsoft Resources

For a more in-depth look at the functionality of Microsoft Teams, check out some of their easily digestible documentation at: